The latest book by human rights attorney Dan Kovalik, “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela,” is a critical primer on the U.S. government’s efforts to sabotage the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the future of its people.This is the fourth title in Kovalik’s “Plot” series, starting with “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia” (2017) followed by “The Plot to Attack Iran” and “The Plot to Control the World” (both 2018). This series exposes U.S. foreign policy and acts of “humanitarian intervention” perpetrated by the Star-Spangled Empire with impressive clarity.“The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela” features a foreword by filmmaker Oliver Stone, director of the documentary “South of the Border” (2009). As Stone writes, “With its one thousand or so bases around the globe, the U.S. is an empire dwarfing all others that preceded it by a huge magnitude, and yet, unlike all other empires, the U.S. will never consciously admit to its imperial status.”Washington has overthrown legitimate governments through military invasion and more covert means, investing in the leadership of oligarchs and military tyrants. “The Plot to Control the World” presented “emblematic cases” of U.S. interference in Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which “had catastrophic results for the people and their pursuit of democracy and freedom.”As this review goes to press, the Trump administration is trying to bestow such a cruel fate upon Venezuela. “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela” investigates the crimes, motives and historical context of the situation with intelligence and insight. In Kovalik’s words, “This ‘humanitarian intervention’ of the U.S. is nothing but an old-fashioned bank heist dressed up as something altruistic.”Washington has imposed barbaric sanctions upon Venezuela with deadly results. These sanctions have killed thousands of people, weakened infrastructure, prevented medicines from reaching those whose lives depended on them, and ended purchasing food from abroad. There are several motives for U.S. interference. The plundering of Venezuela’s natural resources, particularly oil, is at the top of the list.Venezuela is home to the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world (opec.org), giving the country “a considerable advantage over the North American rival in terms of capital requirements and extractions costs,” according to worldatlas.com. This motive is what inspired the book’s subtitle, “How the U.S. Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.”Historical backgroundIn 1998, Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela. He ran on a platform to uplift oppressed and marginalized peoples, oppose the imperialist entities robbing the country of its wealth and build a movement against neoliberal policies. When Chávez assumed office in 1999, the wheels of D.C. think tanks and the Pentagon were already in motion, devising ways to remove him.The majority of U.S. media outlets often act as stenographers and mouthpieces for the State Department. For example, The New York Times referred to the April 12, 2002, U.S.-backed kidnapping and attempted overthrow of Chávez as a “resignation,” calling him a “would-be dictator,” and sided with businessman and would-be replacement Pedro Carmona Estanga.When the 2002 coup attempt failed, the New York Times backpedaled with a follow-up editorial, which read in part, “Forcibly unseating a democratically elected leader, no matter how badly he has performed, is never something to cheer.” (April 6, 2002) And yet, the Times cheered, as did most U.S. corporate media, according to a report published by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. (June 1, 2002)Once again, these same media push for the most recent efforts to destabilize Venezuela. The current administration appointed neocon ideologue and Iran-Contra convict Elliot Abrams to lead these efforts, as he had in Guatemala and El Salvador decades earlier. While many journalists questioned Abrams’ appointment, few questioned his mission.Despite the media’s repeated attacks on the presidency of Donald Trump, when the Trump administration sounded the shrieking trumpets of regime change in Venezuela, many in the press corps lined up to defend this potential call for war. Media coverage has even influenced some who oppose the administration. Stone touches on the media’s impact, writing, “[I]f the U.S. is an Empire in this morality tale, then surely Venezuela and its people are the outgunned rebels. And yet, many Americans who should know better, including many liberals and self-proclaimed ‘leftists,’ find themselves rooting against them and for the Empire and its culture of death.”Unlike many of those who repackage White House talking points as news, Kovalik has been to Venezuela. Last year, he witnessed the May 20 elections when Maduro won the presidency with 67 percent of the vote. The election results were ignored by the Trump administration, which last January recognized an unelected, dubious Juan Guaidó as interim president.Why Venezuela mattersBesides presenting a wealth of information and sources, the book describes the resilience of the Venezuelan people and their collective strength in the ongoing struggle against external and internal subversion aimed at their country.Venezuela has suffered devastating power blackouts, oil tanks catching fire, assassination attempts on government leaders (most notably the attempt on Maduro via drone last Aug. 4) and other events that many believe the U.S. either organized or at least supported. The people of Venezuela have stood their ground in the face of such tribulations.As Kovalik correctly emphasizes, “The battle for Venezuela has huge implications for all humanity. None of us can stay neutral on this issue. And given the nefarious designs of the U.S. upon Venezuela, the suffering the U.S. is already bringing to the Venezuelan people through its regime change operations and the threat of global conflagration, it is incumbent upon us to resist the latest intervention.”“The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela” is now available from Hot Books, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Gabriel Jesus struck late to give Manchester City a 1-0 win at Leicester on Saturday, strengthening their hold on second place behind champions-in-waiting Liverpool despite more woe from the penalty spot.Pep Guardiola’s men have endured a turbulent week after they were banned from European club competitions for two years for breaches of financial fair play rules.But a second-half winner from substitute Jesus after Sergio Aguero had failed to convert a penalty put them 17 points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham and sends them into their midweek match against Real Madrid in good spirits. City looked like they might have to settle for a draw after squandering their fourth penalty in a row in the Premier League, with each being missed by a different player.”We have missed four penalties in a row but maybe we will shoot a penalty when we need it to win something,” Guardiola told the BBC. “The keepers are good too, but the next one we are going to score.”The City boss said his team were in good shape for their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie in Spain.”We are playing the kings of the competition, we will see, we will try to enjoy it and do our game,” he added. City, who still trail leaders Liverpool by 19 points, bossed possession in a lively opening spell at the King Power Stadium but the home side should have taken an early lead when Jamie Vardy was put through.The pacy forward, who has not scored since December after an electric spell, was preparing to celebrate but saw the ball rebound agonisingly off the base of the post to safety.A minute later, former Leicester favourite Riyad Mahrez went close, striking a left-footed shot from outside the box that was palmed away by Kasper Schmeichel.Aguero had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time but the goal was ruled out for off-side.Both sides maintained their intensity after the break and Schmeichel produced a fine save, diving down to his right to keep out a Kevin De Bruyne shot. Penalty saved The decisive moment appeared to come just after the hour mark when Manchester City were awarded a penalty after a VAR check confirmed that Leicester’s Dennis Praet had handled the ball in the area.Aguero blasted the ball down the middle but Schmeichel kept it out with his legs, moments later denying the Argentine hitman with his left foot.Guardiola replaced Aguero with Jesus with less than a quarter of an hour to go and the change paid quick dividends as the Brazilian stretched to poke the ball past the diving Schmeichel after an assist from Mahrez in the 80th minute.Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said he was “bitterly disappointed” with the result, which leaves his side seven points adrift of City, and felt his side should have had a penalty of their own when De Bruyne appeared to block a free-kick with his hands in the first half.”We were always a threat in the game,” he told Sky Sports. “Of course they have big quality, but I was so pleased with how we defended.”There’s no magic formula, you’ve just got to work hard. The players gave everything tonight. We’re in a great, great position in the league so it’s just staying positive.”City, who could win their third consecutive League Cup next weekend when they face Aston Villa at Wembley, are appealing their UEFA ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Leicester have won just one out of their past six Premier League matches after a fine start to the season and will be glancing nervously over their shoulders at Chelsea, now just six points adrift after their 2-1 win over Tottenham.Topics :
A 34-year-old security guard attached to the Sandy Mining Company was on Monday placed on $60,000 bail for reportedly cuffing a former friend.Dexter Cush, a father of three children, denied the charge read to him by city Magistrate Judy Latchman when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.The charge stated that on March 20, 2018 at Sussex and Lombard Streets, Georgetown, he assaulted Edwin Miles so as to cause him actual bodily harm.According to Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore, the men had a misunderstanding and Cush dealt Miles one punch to his head.The matter was reported by Miles, and Cush was arrested and charged for the offence.The case will continue on June 31, 2018.
Australia’s young adults are setting themselves up for major depression and social upheaval. Here’s why.A sense of purpose and meaning in life, often derived from sincere faith in a loving and good Creator, produces measurable health benefits. But what does lack of faith produce?The God of small things (James Cook University, Australia). The purpose-filled life doesn’t just look at the big picture for evidence of God. According to Jonathan Ramsay, a lecturer at JCU’s Singapore campus, the faith that improves health in people sees the hand of God in small things, too.Dr Ramsay said the results show that all people, but especially religious people, regularly assign significance to unremarkable events—such as discussing hobbies with a work colleague, receiving a small but unexpected gift, or spending time with a family member.“We found the more people gave meaning, purpose, and significance to such events the more they experienced positive emotions such as gratitude and contentment,” he said.Friending God increases purpose in life in the socially disconnected (Michigan State). Some psychologists assume that community is vital for developing a sense of purpose in life. That helps, but an MSU doctoral student found that even the socially disconnected find a sense of purpose in life when they can look to God as a friend. While not discounting the importance of friendship with other people for mental health, Todd Chan looked at the responses of 19,775 people, and concluded that even lonely souls can benefit from a sense of purpose when God is central in their lives.Chan and colleagues say that having a belief system that adequately “substitutes” for some of the functions of human relationships, like having a God that values and supports them, may allow socially disconnected people to restore some of this purpose.“For the socially disconnected, God may serve as a substitutive relationship that compensates for some of the purpose that human relationships would normally provide,” Chan said.Steep decline in student belief that God created humans, 32-year Australian study reveals (Science Daily). The title says it all: more and more Australians are walking away from belief that God created mankind.Every year since 1986, the researchers polled first-year biology students at UNSW Sydney about their views on evolution and creationism. In 1986, 60% of students believed a god had something to do with the origin of humans, while only 29% held this view in 2017. In contrast, the percentage of students convinced that a god had nothing to do with the origin of humans increased from 25% in 1986 to 62% in 2017.The findings — published today in Evolution: Education and Outreach – are the longest continuous annual survey of opinions about creationism versus evolution among first-year university students world-wide.Putting it All TogetherThese findings can be summarized as follows:Purpose in life is important for positive emotions such as gratitude and contentment.Friendship with God, and belief in Him as our Creator, brings a strong sense of purpose in life.Lack of belief that God had anything to do with the origin of humans is on the rise among students and young adults.Conclusion: Australia is setting itself up for a major societal crisis: meaninglessness, hopelessness, and despair.Corollary: America, with its Darwin-only teaching policy, is heading down the same path. Evolutionists, quick! You must do something about this. Your students are becoming depressed, leading lives where everything seems pointless, as if they are wandering through a world that shows blind, pitiless indifference toward them and everybody else. Natural selection must have selected for humans who find purpose in life by believing in God. If so, they must be the fittest. Then help the fittest: you need to teach less Darwinism, and more Bible. This is vital for the health of society!But wait; that would imply that natural selection teaches people to believe in lies. Maybe belief in natural selection is a lie, too; would you have any way of knowing? And by choosing to do something about the crisis of purposelessness in your society, wouldn’t you be assuming that you are a free moral agent with a conscience? Wouldn’t making an effort to solve the crisis amount to your own purpose in life? [Cue sound of short circuit.]Let’s get back to the wisdom of God’s word. Purpose—the intelligent plan of God—permeates the Bible from first verse to last. In a magnificent passage, Paul tells the former pagans in Ephesus about the purposes of God. Look at all the purpose words in this one passage, that relate to our ability to have a sense of purpose individually in a purposeful, created universe:Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1)Paul said to the Romans, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). He is indeed the God of small things! He works His purposes in us every day, for judgment on sinners, but for goodness and joy to those who trust Him. Think of how richly meaningful it can be to walk with God as your closest Friend. (See Site Map.)Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” [John 10:9-10; read whole chapter.] God the Son—the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us—purposes good for us: abundant life. Who is the thief, but the one who steals away people’s hope in God? Who is a worse thief than Charles Darwin and his disciples, who preach that there is no God at all, but just a material universe of blind, pitiless indifference? We need to see Darwinians as not just wrong, but evil, merciless thieves!To learn to love God and appreciate His purposes for us, go to TheJohn1010Project.com, which takes its name from the passage above about abundant life. Watch the 50+ free videos that will build your confidence in God, answer hard questions, and enrich your life with the joy our Creator intended for us.Exercise: Compare the purposelessness of an atheist astronomer in this short film, “God and the Astronomer,” with the confidence of Joni Eareckson Tada, who had to struggle with God’s purposes when she became paralyzed in an accident. Watch her abundant life come to light in “Can God Bring Good From Suffering?“After watching these two episodes, you will likely want to watch many others. They’re easy to share on social media, and they are all free. If you are blessed by the films, subscribe to the page and support what Illustra Media is doing. This will increase your joy in having a sense of purpose, too.The sponsoring organization for Creation-Evolution Headlines, incidentally, has a purposeful name: Master Plan Association.(Visited 325 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
By: Bari Sobelson & Hannah HydePixabay[Coins by Olichel, CC0]Change is important to personal finance managers. I’m not just talking about the kind you find at the bottom of your purse or in your pockets; I’m referring to the inevitable kind that we all face as humans on a regular basis. At its root, personal finance work is about helping clients become aware of, understand, and prepare for the inevitable change that will come with life within the context of their financial planning.So why all of this talk about change?We have an opportunity for you that you won’t want to pass up next month! Starting on September 26th, we will be offering a four-day virtual conference that is all about change! Whether you come as a PFM who is interested in assisting your clients with the multitude of changes they may experience, or as a person who is interested in learning about managing change in your own personal life, this conference is for you!This will be unlike any conference you have attended before—there will be keynotes, opportunities for conversation and networking, and a wide variety of topics surrounding change! So, if you want to keep the change, join us for this conference! You won’t regret it! To find out more information on this virtual conference, click here. We hope to see you there as we all LEARN strategies for managing change, GROW our understanding of our capacity for change, and begin to THRIVE as we connect with colleagues facing similar challenges!This blog was written by Social Media Specialists Bari Sobelson of the MFLN Family Development Team and Hannah Hyde of the MFLN Military Caregiving Team. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Image created by Christopher Plein, Ph.D., 2018. Return to article. Long DescriptionRecently, I made a community presentation to social workers, education specialists, healthcare prevention workers and other helping professionals in my home state of West Virginia. Among those in attendance were professionals working with veterans, some of whom are long retired and others more recently separated from military service.The meeting helped my thoughts turn again to how closely military families are tied to the “civilian world.” I introduced the group to the work that we do in the Military Families Learning Network emphasizing the common bonds that we all share in helping families. We talked about recent trends in Medicare and Medicaid and possible future developments for these two keystones of the American health system.Active duty military families may find that family and loved ones are eligible for these programs due to health conditions, age or economic need. Those facing retirement and separation from the military also need to consider the road ahead and how Medicaid and Medicare may figure into their plans.Most know that Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for those over 65 years of age. It also serves those with specific diseases and disabilities. Medicaid operates as a state-federal partnership providing health insurance for lower income populations as well as those with special health conditions and disabilities. As we have noted in previous blogs and webinars, these programs are a complex yet vital part of our healthcare infrastructure.For well over a decade, both programs have changed due to various federal legislative and regulatory reforms. The best known of these is the Affordable Care Act of 2010 which made some revisions to Medicare but most importantly allowed for Medicaid expansion to newly eligible populations of low income adults.Along with demographic changes in our population (many of us are getting older), policy changes are resulting in more and more Americans being covered by either Medicaid or Medicare. Currently, 33 percent of the U.S. population is covered by one or the other helping to bring our overall uninsured rate down to 9 percent.Utilizing helpful data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and comparing these to data on active duty military populations in the states, we offer a quick glimpse of trends in the tables and charts below.As noted in a previous blog, almost half (49 percent) of all active duty military are based in just five states: California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia. The table below is from that blog that and relies on data from Defense Manpower Data Center (MDDC). We’ll call these states the “Big Five.” Texas16%11%15% Source: Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016Both Virginia and Texas lag behind the national average for Medicaid and Medicare coverage. However, the picture in Virginia may change soon as it has recently passed legislation to expand Medicaid.Because Medicaid and Medicare can figure so prominently in providing assistance to family members, it is worth considering the status of these programs when making location and caregiving decisions. While Medicare coverage provisions are uniform across the United States, Medicaid varies widely from state to state.One trend that we can anticipate is that more states, even in traditionally “red” regions, will decide to expand Medicaid in order to help lower income adults. In the 2018 mid-term elections, three states, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah all approved ballot measures to expand Medicaid eligibility to new low income groups.More broadly, there is growing interest in expanding Medicare coverage to new populations. This would be a real game changer — especially for those who have difficulty accessing care due to health conditions or age. There are active discussions and legislative proposals now being considered to allow those nearing retirement age (say between the ages of 55 and 64) and those with serious health conditions to “buy-in” to Medicare at a reduced premium or to be entitled to the program. Excellent and accessible analysis and reporting on these developments can be found online through the Kaiser Family Foundation.In the months to come, we should anticipate further conversations about Medicaid and Medicare as platforms for healthcare coverage and access. New Medicaid expansion efforts in states will no doubt inspire others, but will also have their own share of growing pains and difficulties. As for Medicare, we can anticipate that both sides of the aisle will give active consideration to ideas on how this program can help those in need.Note: The research assistance of Lonnie Long, MPA student and MFLN Military Caregiving special needs graduate assistant in preparing this blog is appreciated. Georgia17%12%12% North Carolina18%15%11% MedicaidMedicareUninsured United States19%14%9% Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving Team Return to article. Long DescriptionSource: Understanding Military Assignment Dynamics in the U.S.: A Look at the Data & Some Questions to Ponder (Plein, 2018).Medicaid & Medicare EnrollmentNow let’s take a look at Medicaid and Medicare enrollment trends in these states. What we find is an interesting and varied portrait of what is happening. In California, for example, 36 percent of the population is covered by either Medicaid or Medicare. To date, California is the only state among the “Big Five” to implement an expanded Medicaid program. By expanding Medicaid coverage to previously ineligible groups, enrollment numbers have increased. As the data suggest, this helps to reduce overall uninsured rates. This image (ID: 184954118) was purchased by MFLNMC from iStock.com under member ID 8085767. California25%11%8% Virginia 12%14%10%
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PITTSBURGH, PA – MARCH 17: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Rhode Island Rams during the second half in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Duke and Louisville are locked into a tight battle at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils led by as many as 14 but now trail late in the contest.During the second half, Duke’s Grayson Allen drove to the basket and was knocked down. While he was on the ground, he appeared to intentionally trip Louisville’s Raymond Spalding, who had corralled the ball and was dribbling up court.yep, that’s a trip by Grayson Allen … https://t.co/hAfZbZaFGb— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) February 9, 2016Definitely looks like he meant to do that.